Home, the single most important, comforting, soothing, belonging word in the dictionary.
Home. It’s not where you live. It’s not a house. It’s not a place. It’s not geographically definable. It’s a feeling. I mean, it might be any or ALL of these things, but they are all meaningless without the feeling.
That feeling of belonging. Of knowing that you, being you is totally, without question acceptable. Feeling like you can be the worst you there is, or the best, and it’s equal. Of knowing there is care, and laughter, and love. Of knowing there is someone. In your corner. Even when all your corner needs is a glitter ball and a cocktail. Just the same as when it needs hospital, or bail.
Comfy slippers. A squashy armchair. Warm, free. Without shame.
Being home sick is truly debilitating. I have seen children unable to enjoy even those things purely designed to be enjoyable because they deeply miss a version of home they will definitely see in mere hours. Adults who somehow displace themselves, finding everything else out of sorts, not quite right, because home is missing to them.
Home is not simple or straightforward. I had to explain how “house” and “home” are in no way intrinsically linked, and certainly not synonymous. And, I couldn’t explain the entirety of what home really is. How could I? It’s such a big concept. Such an all consuming driver.
When I get lost, when I feel so lonely, and distant and unreachable, I cry. And, the words I cry, out loud, snot and tear choked, over, and over, and over and over, like a prayer, like the only thing that matters, “I want to go home”
But, unlike those children, there is no home for me to go to. But, there never has been. I am not displaced. I am not missing someone, somewhere. With my two small people with me, that’s ALL the people and home and anything external to me that there are. I cannot claim homesickness. I can’t claim anything missing.
How much worse then, to be a person who can see home and never reach it? I am lucky not to be that person. But, in the same way, I am less human. I am not from anywhere, not going anywhere, I don’t belong to or with. There is no comfortable, there is no warm. This is not a natural human state. So, since I have never inhabited a natural human state, maybe I am not a natural human.
But, crumpled on the floor, unsure what or who is missing, not even entirely sure why I am upset, I have NOTHING to be even the smallest bit upset about. “I want to go home” just forever and ever, the words are there, even though I don’t know where they came from.
What does it mean? It doesn’t exist. I can’t even make a start to search, because there is nothing to search for.
And so, I wonder, the others like me. What do they do? Just wait to be part of the earth again? Hope for a miracle? Learn not to care?
I feel that home is something I want to give to my children. But I don’t know what it means or what they need it to mean. I have no template. I can’t show them. And, I know that they have a difficult journey to make. They will NEED roots and home. But they probably will be as permanently displaced as this. Aliens.
Hold on to home. You will need it one day.